Articles Tagged Success

Oct 02, 2011
To succeed tomorrow, say these 3 words today

There are three words you need to be able to say often if you are to have any success in today’s world. Those three words are: I DON’T KNOW. Those are in fact the three words most people of accomplishment are least likely to say. We are conditioned by our education, and indeed by early […]

Read More
Sep 25, 2011
Why the standard CV hides what we really need to know

Microblogger @oshinity3 tweeted an arresting thought recently. To paraphrase, she asked people whether they still stated on their curricula vitae the fact that they were skilled in MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint, etc. Most people do. Why, asked @oshinity3, does this still matter? What she’s pointing out is that people have an ingrained tendency to freeze into one […]

Read More
Sep 19, 2011
Here’s a little secret about sustained product success

“We’re always searching for that secret formula, that magic pixie dust to sprinkle over our products, services, books, causes, brands, blogs to bring them to life and make them Super Successful. Most marketing-related buzzwords gain traction by promising pixie dust results if applied to whatever it is we make, do, sell. “Add more Social!”. “Just […]

Read More
Aug 21, 2011
Success comes from daily habits, not natural talent

Haruki Murakami is widely regarded as one of the world’s most interesting, original writers. His novels frequently combine elements of the bizarre and the mundane, the surreal and the banal in such odd measure that the reader is left baffled, rattled, disturbed – but always interested. Murakami has won numerous awards and accolades, and has […]

Read More
Aug 07, 2011
To succeed in today’s world, you must dare to matter

“We are surrounded by Bureaucrats, Note Takers, Literalists, Manual Readers, TGIF Labourers, Map Followers, and Fearful Employees.” That’s Seth Godin describing what most people in the world do. Last week, I asked you all whether you are “Godfreys” – just a random name I chose for all the people described above. So look at the […]

Read More
Jul 31, 2011
Do you stand out from the crowd? Unlikely…

Have you ever read a book where you want to stand up on your bed (that’s where I read) and clap on every other page? Seth Godin’s Linchpin is just that book for me. It is a manifesto, a call to action, a drumroll. So you can imagine how fortunate I felt to meet the […]

Read More
Apr 18, 2011
My best advice for managing perceptions – just be yourself

“Executive coach Elizabeth Kuhnke offers some simple tips that can make the difference between being perceived as powerful or merely part of the pack. 1. Consider your stance. Place your hands facing each other and steeple your fingers. This forces your palms apart and, whether you are sitting or standing, your arms will take up […]

Read More
Mar 10, 2011
On NTV PMLive with Larry Madowo, Friday 11 March from noon

I’ll be discussing our peculiar businesses with Larry on NTV, at noon tomorrow.

Read More
Sep 12, 2010
We need more art, artists and artistry

Can we please stop this Sunday to record a debt of gratitude to all the artists in our midst? Those who create original works of the imagination – be they paintings, books, music, poetry, drama, films, sculptures – make our hearts soar. They deserve all our applause. Think about it: when does your heart sing? […]

Read More
Apr 25, 2010
How big do you want your life to be?

Paul Hewson was in Nairobi recently. That won’t mean much to you, until I explain that I was referring to Bono, the world-famous lead singer of rock band U2, and campaigner against global poverty. Bono didn’t really make much noise while in Kenya. He attended the Nation Media Group’s Pan-Africa Media Conference, went to a […]

Read More
Mar 28, 2010
Your personal standards drive success

How were your cornflakes this Sunday morning? One of my oldest friends told me something interesting about his consumption of cereals. He asserted that the milk you add to cornflakes has to be very cold, otherwise the taste is ruined. I was about to dismiss this as individual fastidiousness, but my attention was piqued and […]

Read More
Mar 21, 2010
Why reality usually has nothing to do with plans

Last week this column looked at two words: Event and Process. This week I want to engage you in a discussion about two more: PLAN and REALITY. The need to think about these words came to me on a recent flight. Anyone who has flown on a commercial flight will be familiar with the in-flight […]

Read More
Mar 14, 2010
To succeed, make the crucial distinction between event and process

This Sunday I want to focus your attention on two seemingly simple words: EVENT and PROCESS. The difference between these words, I would like to argue, is that between earth and sky, between success and failure, between dream and reality. Yet we are confusing these words every day in Kenya and retarding our progress. Our […]

Read More
Feb 15, 2010
The key to success: enjoy yourself thoroughly!

“Because starting a business is a huge amount of hard work, requiring a great deal of time, you had better enjoy it. When I started Virgin from a basement flat in west London, I did not set out to build a business empire. I set out to create something I enjoyed that would pay the […]

Read More
Dec 13, 2009
MJ’s “This Is It”: The pursuit of perfection

This column doesn’t do film reviews. Every so often, however, a film experience comes along that requires you to break your own rules. Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” is one such experience, and one that I am happy to ask you not to miss, if you have any interest in the nature and experience of […]

Read More
Oct 12, 2009
The chains of past success shackle us

“Suppose you went to a doctor who said: “I’m going to do an appendectomy on you.” When you asked why, the doctor answered, “because I did one on my last patient and it made him better.” We suspect you would hightail it out of that office, because you know that the treatment ought to be […]

Read More
Sep 14, 2009
Learning from the Crocs shooting star phenomenon

“For a while, they were just right there, in the middle of American culture,” says Richard Polk, the owner of Pedestrian Shops and ComfortableShoes.com, based in Boulder, Colo. Polk’s store was the first real shoe store to stock the crazy-looking plastic shoes, a few years back, when they first roared out of nearby Aurora to […]

Read More
Aug 24, 2009
To understand success and failure, try visiting the graveyard

“More than two thousand years ago, the Roman orator, belletrist, thinker, Stoic, manipulator-politician, and (usually) virtuous gentleman, Marcus Tullius Cicero, presented the following story. One Diagoras, a nonbeliever in the gods, was shown painted tablets bearing the portraits of some worshippers who prayed, then survived a subsequent shipwreck. The implication was that praying protects you […]

Read More
Jul 26, 2009
Dependency culture is crippling many

We don’t have a welfare state in Kenya. Or do we? Look at it this way. Of our 35-plus million people, only around 2 million are in any form of ‘formal’ or ‘modern’ employment. Kenya as a country offers proper employment to fewer people than Wal-Mart does. It is these few people who form most […]

Read More
Jun 15, 2009
Did your CEO just win an award? Start worrying…

“Team titles might be what matter to them most, but football fans are also generally pleased if a player in their team wins an award. Publishers rarely object when their authors win Booker or Nobel prizes for literature. So how should shareholders in a company feel when the company’s chief executive wins an accolade such […]

Read More
Apr 26, 2009
Reclaiming good values in Kenya: what’s your personal agenda?

I went on the attack against the ‘followers’ in this country last week, and asked that we all examine our everyday behaviour rather than wait for ‘leaders’ to sort us out. The attack continues this week. We heard recently that a magistrate had been killed and his body dumped on the roadside. Newspaper reports now […]

Read More
Apr 12, 2009
Future success is not guaranteed – for anyone

Icarus flew too close to the sun, and came crashing down into the sea. He became giddy with excitement at his ability to fly, and was punished for his over-confidence. That is a Greek fable, but all societies have their tales about the phenomenon of hubris – the excessive pride or arrogance that so many […]

Read More
Apr 06, 2009
To prosper in life, expect the unexpected

“It is easy to see that life is the cumulative effect of a handful of significant shocks. It is not so hard to identify the role of Black Swans, from your armchair (or bar stool). Go through the following exercise. Look into your own existence. Count the significant events, the technological changes, and the inventions […]

Read More
Mar 09, 2009
Do corporate awards really mean anything?

“At the end of 2007, Marks & Spencer was lauded as Britain’s Most Admired Company, ranked as the best among 220 companies in a survey conducted by Management Today. Not only did it receive the highest score overall, Marks & Sparks was rated best on five of the nine survey categories… Marks and Spencer’s triumph […]

Read More
Feb 09, 2009
The herd instinct gets us all into trouble

“One thing this crisis has proved is that the herd instinct is alive and well and global. It led Bear Stearns and Citigroup and Lehman Brothers and AIG to believe that risk was a thing of the past, that housing markets could only go up and that unregulated mortgage-backed securities would forever yield unprecedented returns. […]

Read More
Feb 02, 2009
We are all wise after the event

“I believed that I would win kudos for my contrarian view when the (internet) bubble burst. But people who had not wished to be told they were talking nonsense before the bubble burst did not wish to be told they had been talking nonsense after the bubble burst either. Indeed they did not recall that […]

Read More
Jan 19, 2009
Want to be truly excellent at what you do? Practice!

“This idea – that excellence at a complex task requires a critical, minimum level of practice – surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is a magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours. “In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert […]

Read More
Nov 21, 2008
Don’t hang on where you’ve stopped adding value

“Andy Cole has finally confirmed he has retired from football, but in doing so launched a broadside at Nottingham Forest and their manager Colin Calderwood. The former Manchester United and England striker left his hometown club two weeks ago after failing to make an impression and growing disillusioned with restricted appearances. Cole made just 11 […]

Read More

Archives